|Barked: Wed Feb 8, '12 2:20pm PST |
|Sanka, don't know who the Montana "expert" was. Chance is only on leash in "civilization".
There are many, many dangers to letting a dog off leash in the "wilds" of Montana but with the exception of national parks and some state parks/wildlife area, most areas are off leash friendly. Some times of year are leashes required and some parks/park areas don't allow dogs at all to preserve historical structures, for sanitary reasons and in sensitive wildlife areas.
They all have basic rules though.
If your dog may chase wildlife or has chased wildlife, off leash is not a good idea.
Every year tourists lose dogs in the wilderness areas, BLM lands and state forests. The dogs see a wild animal, give chase and get lost in the hundreds of thousands of acres of backcountry land, most of which has no trails.
The dogs either succumb to the elements (year-round snow at the highest elevations are common), fall off cliffs, get swept away in snow-melt full rivers, get killed by the wildlife they were chasing (there were at least 2 dogs killed by deer last spring), get killed by a predator (wolf, cougar, black bear, grizzly bear, etc.) or wander onto a section of private land and get shot by the landowner or killed by ranch dogs.
Depending on the area there are old hidden mine shafts that animals fall into.
They sometimes end up where there are livestock on grazing rights land and get killed by cattle (most open range herds include a bull) or if there are sheep get killed by livestock guardian dogs or sometime armed human shepherds.
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